Is Gilgamesh A Virtuous Character?

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Q.5 Is Gilgamesh a virtuous character? What is the crucial point for his transformation from a tyrant to one who seeks knowledge? Is Gilgamesh a man of action or a man of contemplation? Whether Gilgamesh is a virtuous character or not is contentious. At first, he is seen as a self centered, wild savage, oppressor, cocky, arrogant, and a selfish king who befriends a half man, Enkidu, and goes for adventures with him. For instance, the fourth stanza of the first tablet depicts a man who is ruthless and even goes ahead to rape” the daughter of the warrior” as well as the “bride of the young man” (Carnahan, 1998). However, it is only after the death of his beloved friend that he realized that there was no need to continue with his evil acts; hence, became an admired wise ruler. Therefore, it is a tale of how a rash, thoughtless, egomaniac king went though…show more content…
The epic commenced with the people of Uruk describing the character as an aggressive ruler. The readers get a glimpse of who the character is and his goals in life. He acts in different ways as an overbearing leader who is resented by the people, as a strong fighter, a depressed, deflated man, and finally as a king who is fully contented with what he had accomplished. The death of Enkidu transformed him from being a ruthless and shallow leader to a content and introspective king. It is after his death that he abandoned his wealth, power, and glory and began a journey in quest of immortality since he did not want to die like his friend. In the ninth tablet he avowed, “…I fear death, and now roam the wilderness…” (Carnahan, 1998). He went to the wilderness, where he sought the counsel of Utnapishtimu, who was a Mesopotamian Noah and had been granted eternal life by the gods. However, his quest for mortality failed since he only managed to get wisdom and at the end became a respectable

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